A newly released dashcam video of a violent police traffic stop, which shows a White Ohio cop beating a Black driver, raises doubt about the official police version of the incident, the Washington Post reports.
According to the initial Euclid Police Department statement, Officer Michael Amiott pulled over Richard Hubbard III on Aug. 12 for suspicion of driving with a suspended license. The official version said he ignored the officer’s order to “face away” and resisted arrest, which official suggested justified Amiott punching the Black driver and slamming his head several times into the pavement.
But the new video, obtained in a public records request, shows that the officer attacked Hubbard, 25, within a second of ordering him to “face away.” It also shows that Amiott threw some punches while Hubbard’s arms were spread out and appeared not to resist the officer.
“Your own two eyes and common sense can lead to only one reasonable conclusion as to the propriety of the level of force used for a basic traffic stop and whether or not my client had a chance to comply,” said Hubbard’s attorney, Christopher McNeal, according to the Associated Press.
A bystander shot a video of the assault that circulated on social media before the police released the official dashcam video. Unlike the dashcam version, the bystander’s video does not show the entire arrest and lacks audio. But it went viral, showing the extreme brutality of the arresting officer.
Amiott, who joined the department in 2014, has a spotty record. Among his offenses, department officials reprimanded him for hitting a driver with a handgun, insubordination toward a commanding officer and mishandling evidence, according to The Post. He’s now on administrative leave.
As usual, the local police union is defending the officer, urging the public not to “rush to judgement” over Amiott’s “literally-split-second decision,” The Post reported, quoting a statement.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kirsten Gail vowed that the incident would be “thoroughly” investigated, adding that the videos “raise some very serious concerns,” according to the AP.